Located in Iowa, Ortonville is a small town of less than ten thousand residents. However, it's a town that has seen more than its fair share of changes over the years. For instance, its a town that has seen a ring freeway pass through it and a modern mfg plant installed on the north side of its historic RR bed. But there's still plenty to do in the town, especially if you're into old cars and antiques.
Ortonville has a lot of historic buildings. The most notable is the reconstructed Kanesville Tabernacle, which is operated as a Mormon Trail museum. The city also has a few historic buildings in its midst, including the 501 Main Building and the City National Bank Building, both of which are on the National Register of Historic Places.
The town has a few nifty things to see and do, and the state park is worth checking out, especially the hiking trails. Another tidbit is that the city is home to the world's largest dulcimer, a seventy-year-old contraption that has been repurposed as a tourist attraction.
It's also been said that Ortonville was a circus town, and the adage holds true. The town used to be one of the largest in the state, but it's a town that has seen its share of changes. In the mid-1880s, it was known as Council Bluffs. When the majority of the Mormons left Utah for good, the city was renamed. It's also home to the smallest city in Iowa with a daily newspaper.
There are also several museums and monuments to check out. One of the best is the Western Historic Trails Center, which has a number of clever feats of architecture, including an excellent rotunda. The state historical society of Iowa also has its own building.
The town also boasts a few lesser-known sites, such as the Sidney Robertson Cowell Collection, which is housed in the Library of Congress. The best part is that the museum is free to visit. Apparently, the town has a rich history, as it was once the home of the famous Orton family, who were circus folk. The sign in front of the building is a good reminder of that fact.
Another novelty is the Squirrel Cage Jail, which has a rudimentary kitchen, office areas and three revolving pie-shaped cells inside of a cage. The jail was built in 1885, and is operated by the Historical Society of Pottawattamie County. The town also has a small but well-preserved library, albeit one with a few more weeds in it than books.
The town is also home to the smallest hotel in the state, the Hotel Stuart. This small hotel has been in operation since 1906, and has recently undergone a makeover by the same team that renovated the church. It's also home to a number of antique stores along the main street. It's also home to the world's largest dulcimer, which has been repurposed as a museum piece.